While rape figures have staggeringly being going up in the past decade, the law has not changed. But in the wake of brutal gang-rape and murder of 23-year-old student in Delhi last December, there has been a demand for strong laws. Laws which could handle and help curb sexual crimes on women.
During the Annual budget this year the central government promised a strong anti-rape law. The Finance Minister announced a budget of Rs. 1,000 crore named ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ in honour of the girl who died after the brutal gang rape in Delhi last year. The usage of funds is not defined yet, the govt. is yet to set up a committee to define & design.
But the anti-rape law has hit hurdles over usage of word ‘rape’ or ‘sexual assault’. Media reports say that the Law Ministry has some reservations about replacing the word sexual harassment with rape saying that it limits to women-related crimes. Media reports say that the bill was not discussed by the Cabinet on March 7. Many cabinet members do not approve of the amendments proposed by the home ministry.
Also there is opposition to reducing the age of consensual sex from 18 to 16 which the Law Ministry is keen on. We just hope for a strong Anti-rape law to bring rapes to an end.